bill-swift - August 28, 2012
Michael Vick is a tremendous football player. He can run like no other quarterback in the league. His time away for the game has done wonders for his accuracy. With all the work in the community that he does now (thanks to his time in federal prison on dog-fighting charges) he is a public relations departments dream.
It doesn't hurt that in America we love to see our heroes rise up from the ashes almost as much as we love seeing them fall. Rise Vick most certainly has, and that is why it may be time for the Eagles to see what they can get for the veteran quarterback.
Vick's return to the game could not have come at a better time for the Eagles. After ten years it was time to start thinking about life after Donovan McNabb before the aging veteran retired or was seriously injured. University of Houston gunslinger Kevin Kolb was in place, but a team never wants to put all its eggs in one basket if it can be avoided.
Sure enough, Kolb was injured in his first game in as the starter (and the first in the post-McNabb Era) opening a door for the former Atlanta Falcon to return to center stage. Return he did. Vick pretty much bested all his career single season numbers even though he only played in 12 games.
That was enough for the Eagles to trade away Kevin Kolb, give Vick a hefty long-term contract, and guarantee him a pretty tidy sum of money (6 years, $100 million, $40 million guaranteed). At the time it appeared to be a great deal. Vick was more accurate than ever, he has a young nucleus of speedy play makers at his disposal, and the Eagles are typically have one of the better defenses in the league.
All that doesn't matter if the man can't stay healthy. With his style of play--albeit exciting--the chances of that happening are less and less as he gets older; the first two games of the preseason are evidence of that. At the age of 32 even if he manages to stay healthy he is still on the downside of his career. He likely has a few good seasons left, but with his propensity for injuries that possibility is in question.
Enter rookie quarterback Nick Foles into the equation. In three preseason games, including on start, the 23-year old from Austin, Texas, has thrown for 507 yards, completed 63.2 percent of his passes, and has six touchdowns next to just two interceptions. He has looked every bit the starter when he has played showing the poise, accuracy, and cool under fire that coaches like to see. So far he has been a hit with his teammates and head coach Andy Reid as well:
He managed the game well," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He made a couple of nice throws. There were a couple I think he'd like to have back. Those were young guy mistakes. He worked through it, he came back and he kept firing...He stayed aggressive, did a pretty nice job.
He's just one of those guys who's got that gunslinger mentality; if he sees somebody going deep, he'll let it go, and he's got the confidence in himself to make every throw on the field, so that's always fun," left tackle King Dunlap said.
Does that mean it is time to get rid of Vick? Absolutely not. As good as he has played this preseason, the preseason is still just the preseason; it does not guarantee regular season success. The good thing is that with the way Vick plays, even though he has recognized the need for change himself, he will likely miss a few games at some point this season.
There is still the matter of Vick's contract as well. This season he is guaranteed too much to consider trading ($12.5 million). However, next season even though his salary is scheduled to be $15.5 million, the team will only be on the hook for $3 million once the 2013 waiver period begins.
That isn't exactly chump change either which is why the team could/should look to trade him after this season while he still would be able to bring something to another club.